People who are in the business world and even those who are not have heard of the terms “B2B” and “B2C”. Indeed, they are both important parts of the production, marketing, and sales process. Depending on a lot of factors, you can engage in either channel.
Both of these types have their own loyalty programs too, and the companies proffer them to their customers. Based on these, B2B and B2C customers can make their purchasing decisions. Given that the kind of customers is different for both programs, their CRM loyalty solutions are different too. The company owner of the program must tailor it well for the program to work effectively.
In this article, you would read more about the differences. But first, you should know what B2B and B2C loyalty programs are, isn’t it?
What is B2B Loyalty Program?
The term “B2B” literally stands for business-to-business. In other words, the companies sell their product to another company which is their customer. And they can have more than one B2B customer, with whom they hold a loyalty relationship. However, this is more complicated since the manufacturer has to focus on retaining customer businesses. They do so by focusing on maintaining a relationship, and this gives them direct profits later on.
What is B2C Loyalty Program?
B2C is the most commonly known form of selling, i.e., business to the consumers directly. The loyalty programs of this type focus on engaging, rewarding, enhancing, and retaining their customers. Also, they try to get more shoppers too.
In this, the consumers want the products that they need, so the main theme behind such sales is emotion-based. So, the companies focus on creating billboard campaigns, touching commercials, etc., to pull in interest.
Since the consumer base is different in both B2C and B2B loyalty programs, there are bound to be differences in tactics, too. The following points are the main factors on which the programs vary from the other.
- Target Communication
First and foremost, the customer pool for both is different in size.
For B2C channels, the target is individually based and their loyalty programs communicate accordingly. Indeed, the customers choose a unilateral answer and use the product for themselves or their entire family. However, B2B customers are different since they are a bigger group, and impacting the entire group accurately is not easy.
Plus, it is not straightforward to meet the communication preferences of either. So, companies need to create a communication medium specific to their customer type. Some of the programs in Singapore do this through open enrollment forms. Here, the people sign up for the program and list their details and preferences.
Purchasing power and reward attainability
In terms of reward attainability, the full reward value B2C customers earn is lower than that of the B2B customers. At least, for most of them. Since regular people have to spend a lot of money on their utilities, they cannot afford to spend a lot more on loyalty programs.
Most of the consumers cannot handle depending on many vendors and thus, they cannot take up the reward points. So, it is important for the vendors to put in the effort. And they can do so with rewards like special newsletters, discounts, etc. These are more effective than the “hard” rewards since they cannot spend a lot anyway.
However, that is not a problem for B2B customers. In fact, companies spend almost half of their revenue on purchasing services and goods from vendors. Of course, that depends on the B2B consumer’s business type. Also, the companies who have a smaller size do not reduce their need to spend either.
Altogether, depending on how many vendors they are buying from, the B2B customers choose their sending volume. So, it has the power to influence purchasing power. If a business owner enters the channel partnership with a vendor, they would get an annual reward. Plus, some of them choose point-based credit cards, too, for more control over their purchasing power. Even getting a membership has value; and thus, more businesses get into the B2B loyalty programs.
In terms of inclusiveness, B2C programs are more inclusive than B2B programs. Almost anyone can join most of the former types and no extra cost is involved. All the B2C programs need are the customer’s personal information like age, location, sex, zip code, etc., and transactional data. Then, they provide offers.
On the other hand, the B2B programs are more restrictive; most do not deal with national accounts, government agencies, etc., and sometimes e-commerce retailers too. Plus, a lot of the B2B program have VIP structures, so only those who give them better profits gain from them.
Emotional buying vs. rational purchasing
Indeed, B2C loyalty programs focus on emotional purchases; their customers buy things that they desire. So, the programs aim their rewards and sales pitches toward the emotions of the consumers. This leads them to buy unneeded materials too, sometimes.
However, businesses in the B2B programs focus only on the services or items they need. Thus, the program owners concentrate on making their reward programs more attractive than their competitors, through extra incentives.
Program transactional data use
Bigger companies and vendors get excess data now and that improves their purchase targeting methods. Most B2C consumers do not like sharing their data though, in fear of identity theft and lack of privacy. So, if a company uses too much of their data, they lose the trust of the customers, face backlash, and lose sales too.
On the other hand, B2B programs do not look into the personal data of companies. So, they are more and the programs are focused more on transaction data only. Thereafter, the vendors use purchasing trends and reward-based bonuses to maintain their relationship. This adds to sales.
So, in terms of transactional data usage, the B2B programs are more successful as both parties are satisfied with the professional connection. And, they both profit, too.
All in all, the programs of B2B and B2C are different in Singapore, and other countries in general. They both have their benefits. But it depends on how the vendors utilize the programs.